Thursday, April 19, 2012

Interview: Steven Novak

 Help me welcome author Steven Novak!  

AUTHOR BIO: Born in Chicago Illinois, Steven Novak has spent the whole of his life creating. After attending The Columbus College of Art and Design for four years he moved to California where he married his wife. The pair have been together for nearly a decade. He likes pizza. He’s sort of a nerd. He has terrible luck and worse personal hygiene. He also hates having to write bios about himself. He thinks bios are stupid. His work can be found online at

Steven is the author of Goats Eat Cans, a wonderfully funny collection of stories about random events in his life. 

 Goats Eat Cans Volume 1
Remember the weird kid with the greasy hair and the odd smell you went to school with? You know, the one who never talked to anyone? That creepy little jerk who sat alone at lunch? The oddball who never took a shower in gym class? The one you imagined might one day go on a shooting spree?
Believe it or not, that kid grew up.
He grew up, he got married, he never shot a single person, he wrote a book, and he even started taking showers after his workouts – most of the time.
Goats Eat Cans is his story.
Follow along as Steven Novak recounts the sometimes hilarious, sometimes hilariously painful, and sometimes painfully hilarious moments that have made his life so wonderfully frustrating. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you might even vomit. No matter what, you won't be able to stop reading.
 Goats Eat Cans features 55 stories, 55 illustrations, 99 luftballons and enough nonsense to keep you chuckling and giggling for days on end – or hours – or at the very least a few minutes.

Brace yourselves for the humor of Steven...

1. Tell us a bit about Goats Eat Cans Volume 1, and your inspiration to write it.
I don’t know that I can really claim there was any sort of “inspiration” involved in the writing of Goats Eat Cans Volume 1. Inspiration is an awfully big word and it carries some fairly heavy connotations.
The book is far too stupid to live up to the word inspiration.
Kafka was inspired. I just like to tell poop jokes.
Basically, Goats Eat Cans Volume 1 is a collection of fifty-five stories about some of the annoying things that have happened to me over the years. You’ll get to read about the time I lost my virginity. You’ll get an extremely detailed account of my vasectomy. There’s a chapter in there about the time a childhood friend dumped a gallon of urine onto the head of his sleeping brother. And of course, the time I cracked open my skull in a bicycle accident. The time a hobo tried to urinate on me, and my wedding day, and I finish it all off with a glorious retelling of time blood started spraying from my anus.
Kafka never wrote a story about exploding polypus in his colon.

2. Where you really that weird kid the book blurb suggests?
I was weirder.
No, seriously. I was a lot weirder. I was Scary weird.
Believe it or not, I actually toned down that blurb quite a bit.
It wasn’t really a good kind of weird either. I wasn’t mysterious weird like all the emo vampires the ladies are into these days. I was weird like Jeffery Dahmer was weird. Housewives across the world aren’t squishing around in puddles of their own arousal over Jeffery Dahmer.

3. You're a funny person, how did your sense of humor affect your ability to make friends as a kid?
Honestly, I’m a lot funnier in writing than I am in person. In person I’m sort of an oddball. In fact, half of the stories in the book are about how incredibly awkward I am socially.
I’m a wallflower. I avoid parties. I abhor get-togethers. I suck at small talk and I’m even worse at big talk. Don’t even get me started on how bad I am at big and tall talk.
Needless to say, I didn’t have many friends as a kid. When I was a freshman in high school I shared a forty-seat lunch table with the gym teacher – and even he didn’t talk to me.

4. You seem to know a bit about the celebrity world, do you follow the gossips as inspiration for your humor?
Nope. I hate that stuff. Fortunately for me (or unfortunately) ’m married to a woman who loves it. She’s more than happy to keep me updated on all things Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan, and to a lesser extent Michael Lohan.
A lot of my references are pretty dated, though.
There are twice as many Dom DeLuise references in Goats Eat Cans Volume 1 as there are Paris Hilton references, and no one remembers Dom DeLuise.
If Dom DeLuise were alive, Dom DeLuise wouldn’t even remember Dom DeLuise.

5. What are your favorite books or authors?
It’s sad to admit, but I don’t really read that much anymore. I think I finished one book last year. And it took me almost the entire year to get through it. And it was a pamphlet about the dangers of breast cancer.
There’s just no time.
When I was a kid I was obsessed with Science Fiction. I devoured Ray Bradbury stuff, and I was bonkers for The Time Machine. I also grew up reading comic books and continued reading them well into my adulthood.
I have a closet full of bagged and boarded issues here in the house - multiple closets, actually – much to the chagrin of my wife.
When it comes to humor stuff, I’m a big John Swartzwelder fan. Michael Ian Black has written some good books too. The list goes on and on.

6. When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I’m not sure that I ever did.
Don’t get me wrong, I like writing and I was always doing it. As a kid I wrote, illustrated, and stapled up the side at least three hundred home made comic books.
The problem with me is that, while I really love coming up with stories, the actual act of transferring those stories from my brain into written form is mostly a pain in the ass. It’s tedious. It’s frustrating, and it’s annoying, and I can think of at least a hundred things I’d rather be doing.
One of those things is nibbling on the freshly clipped clippings from my toenails, so that should tell you something.

7. Tell us about your previous works, the Forts series and the Bad Guys web comic, etc.
Forts was a young adult/fantasy trilogy I polished off last year and it has almost nothing in common with Goats Eat Cans. It’s somber, it’s twice the size, it’s a heck of a lot more serious, and there’s not one single reference to Kim Kardashian’s posterior or Dom DeLuise’s goofy little hat.
 The Bad Guys is a mostly weekly webcomic that I write and illustrate and is really sort of a free time kind of thing. I love doing it, but I don’t think anyone is reading, or has any interest in reading.
I also work as a graphic designer and illustrator. I’ve done a lot of direct market school stuff, and some promotional web based things, and recently I began putting together covers for independent authors, which has been a lot of fun.

8. Tell us about The Literary Underground.
LitU (as we affectionately refer to it) is essentially a group of authors helping each other to produce and promote the most polished, professional work possible. Most of us shared a very bad experience with a traditional publisher and decided to band together soon after that. There’s actually a chapter in Goats Eat Cans dedicated to telling exactly what went down with the aforementioned “publisher.”
 It’s terrifying.
And it’s also hilarious.
We’re just a bunch of self-published/independent authors trying to make the most of our work. If you’re an author interested in coming on board you can check us out at:

9. What's next for you? Do you have any other projects in the works?
Before the year is out there are at least two more volumes of Goats Eat Cans set for release. In fact, the editor of Volume 2 informed me just yesterday that she would have things wrapped up by Monday morning. Volume 2 should drop some time in early July and Volume 3 around November or December. There’s a picture book I illustrated for Featherweight Press hitting the stores in a couple months and I also have another book titled, Fictional Jerks that should hit in early 2013 – if everything goes according to plan – which it so rarely does.

10. Tell us where all we can find you.
I’m all over the place. The main hub for all things me is:
The main hub for all things Goats Eat Cans is
I’m also on Twitter @stvfoolery and I spend a fair amount of time putzing around on facebook.
I’m a much better putzer than I am a writer.

No comments:

Post a Comment